One of the most understudied and least understood system of the body is the lymphatic system. Most people recognize the kidneys as the primary organ to filter out toxins for elimination, yet the network of tissues and the lymph fluid itself— which is a white-blood cell, infection-fighting, clear, colorless fluid— is what moves harmful ingredients such as cancer cells or chemicals found in our food, air, and water to the kidneys to excrete. Fascinatingly, the lymph journey runs twice as long as the blood supply system! The body has between 501-700 lymph nodes, however the spleen is the major organ of the system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the spleen is paired with the stomach, and not just for digestion of food, but information and stimulus as well. The spleen becomes weakened by negative thought patterns, over-analyzing, worry, and a lack of nature and silence in our lives.
We weaken the kidneys by weakening the lymphatic system. Without supporting the body in healthy detoxification— meaning, a lack of exercise, eating the SAD diet without holistic nutrition implementation, eating too quickly, and not drinking enough water— we are creating the perfect storm for disease, pain, and illness. Emotionally, repetitive feelings of self-criticism, disappointment, failure, and shame will contribute to nephrological problems.
Some good news!
One of our Great Graduates at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Bradley Goss, inspired me to write this blog. In conversation with him, he talked about his curiosity as to why there are so many herbs to support the kidneys. His Herbalism and Holistic Nutrition diploma program made him realize that while the digestive system sends wastes through the kidneys, so does the entire lymphatic system. These two little organs do so much filtering and cleansing for the body, no wonder they need support! So I asked Bradley if he’d be willing to share one of his favorite tea formulas, and he did so, more than willingly.
Steep this blend in hot (but not boiling) water for ten minutes.
Add a little honey, if desired.
There are a few great options in the Valley to find quality herbs! give Brittany Sounart a call with Desert Sage Herbs (Chandler), and tell her you'd like the Kidney Tea posted from this blog. She'd be happy to blend the dried teas for you! Other apocethary's in the Valley include Happy Healthy Herb Shop (Tempe) and SW Herbs (Phoenix).
Another great option for stimulating detoxification is lymphatic drainage massage. This massage promotes balance of the body’s internal chemistry, purifies and regenerates tissues, helps normalize the functions of organs, and promotes function of the immune system. Contact SWIHA’s Massage Clinic to book an appointment today at (480) 966-4425. Or, if you are interested in becoming a massage practitioner or you would like some additional CEUs, the Lymphatic Massage (TE 340) course is coming up at SWIHA!
Supportive Lymphatic Foods
- Red-staining fruits like berries, cherries, pomegranate, and cranberries (moves lymph)
- Leafy Greens kale, spinach, baby greens (sunlight-capturing chlorophyll cleanses the blood and lymph)
- Beets (thins bile and supports the gut where digestive lymph originates)
- Garlic (boosts immune and combats harmful microbes)
- Citrus lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit (lymphatic protector and hydrates, cleanses, and delivers antioxidants)
As always, before experimenting with any new protocol, fast, detox, or extreme dietary changes, you should always consult your regular holistic practitioner, naturopath, or primary care physician.
Be Smart, Be Safe!